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Other ways to help

If you are trying but cannot always keep the person clean and dry, there are things that you can do to help both of you:

  • Special pads or pants may be worn, either just at night or night and day. These will help keep the person’s skin dry but you must still take him or her to the toilet as you usually would.
  • Make sure that he or she is changed as often as necessary and the skin is kept clean and dry. The problem with pads or pants is that the person with dementia might think that they can be used instead of going to the toilet.
  • You can also cover the mattress with a rubber sheet but must make sure that the person does not lie on the rubber. There must be a sheet or blanket to lie on. Disposable draw sheets are also very useful.

See Independent Living Centre (Cape Town and Johannesburg) details on this site ( ) for medical equipment and aids, or talk to your pharmacist.